Is it safe?
Flu vaccines are safe. In fact, for more than 50 years, hundreds of millions of people in the US–from diverse backgrounds, races, ethnicities, and geographic areas–have safely received seasonal flu vaccines.
A lot of people think they’ll get flu from a flu vaccine, but the fact is that you can’t.
While it’s true that some people who receive a flu vaccine may feel some discomfort and mild side effects, like a sore arm, this is totally normal. Severe side effects are extremely rare though.
Should I get it?
Yes. Getting a flu vaccine not only protects yourself, but it also helps protect the people around you, including those who are more likely to get seriously sick from flu or those who can’t get vaccinated—like infants less than 6 months old, or people with weakened immune systems.
Should I wait?
No. Flu can cause mild to severe illness, and in some cases, can even lead to death. An annual flu vaccine is the best way to reduce your chances of getting flu and spreading it to others.
What if my friends or family won’t get vaccinated?
Everyone has a say on whether to get vaccinated or not, but you also have a say in how you choose to protect yourself and show up for your loved ones. Talk to unvaccinated friends or family members about how serious flu can be.
Confronting a family member or someone you love about their false vaccine beliefs can definitely feel awkward or uncomfortable, but it is important to listen to their questions and concerns and then focus on real-life facts about flu vaccines and the positive impact of vaccination in saving lives and reducing hospitalizations.
Who can I trust?
Talk to a trusted source of information–that means medical experts (like a doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or community health provider) and trusted leaders in the Black community (like your faith leaders or members of your church).
How can I show up to fight flu?
Remember, you can’t be there for others if you don’t show up for yourself first. Getting a flu vaccine every year allows you to show up at your best for those who matter most to you. Help keep yourself, your loved ones, and your community protected.
To learn more, visit www.nfid.org/flu
By National Foundation for Infectious Diseases